Bond was set at $100,000 on Wednesday for a Billings man charged with his 13th drunken-driving offense less than six weeks after he completed a 10-year stint behind bars for his 12th.

John Harvey Hoots, 53, appeared in Justice Court by video from the county jail following his arrest Tuesday evening. Judge Larry Herman set the high bond after prosecutors said Hoots has 12 prior DUI convictions and a criminal record in five states.

Hoots was released from prison on June 25 after serving a 10-year sentence his 12th DUI. Prosecutors said Hoots could face designation as a double persistent felony offender, which carries a minimum sentence enhancement of 10 years.

Shedding clothing

According to court records, a man called police at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to report that Hoots was outside the man’s house on South 28th Street yelling, taking off his clothes and “displaying his rear end in an offensive manner.”

Hoots left, but returned a few minutes later and walked to the front of the man’s house and said he had a gun, the man told police.

When officers arrived, the man pointed out Hoots as he was driving away in a pickup truck. The officers tried to stop the truck, but the driver continued for some distance before pulling into a parking lot.

Hoots showed signs of intoxication, and officers said they found a plastic beer cup in the truck. No gun was found, but Hoots was “uncooperative, would not listen, and displayed an aggressive attitude toward the officers,” court records state.

The officers arrested Hoots and took him to the DUI processing center at the county jail, where he continued to be uncooperative and hostile, prosecutors said. A blood sample was taken from Hoots for testing at the state crime lab after he refused to perform any sobriety tests or provide a breath sample.

Felony DUI alleged

Hoots is charged with felony DUI and misdemeanor counts of driving without a valid license and driving without insurance. He is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 10 in District Court.

Prosecutors said Hoots has eight prior DUI convictions in Montana and four DUI convictions in other states.

The most recent DUI conviction and prison sentence stemmed from his arrest in April 2002, when officers stopped his vehicle after receiving a report of a gas drive-off. Hoots was on probation for a prior DUI at the time.



State courts reporter for the Billings Gazette.